Really. I was a big guy. That’s not my brother.

At lunch today, I showed a new friend a picture of myself taken a year and a half ago. “That’s not you,” she said. “That’s your brother!” My friend Steve was with me, and he assured her that the big guy in the photo was, in fact, me. She just couldn’t believe it.

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People I’ve known for a long time say I’m brave for posting my before pictures here. They say I’m braver still (or crazy) for posting the photo above. They don’t understand why I do it, or why I’m not more modest about it. I post them because of a conversation with my good friend Kenny.

When I started my journey, I didn’t push it on anyone. I talked about it, but I tried to not talk about it too much. Then, after a while, I stopped making it a topic of conversation and just went about my daily routine of eating right. After a few months, Kenny noticed that I was making solid progress. Since I had dinner with him and his wife every Friday night, he also noticed I was able to eat food that was pretty much normal, albeit lacking in added sugar, carbs, grains, beans, or dairy. After I’d lost over 50 lbs, he asked me specifically about my diet and shortly thereafter, he and his wife went Paleo.

When another mutual friend of ours, Matt, asked Kenny why he hadn’t listened to his advice in the past (Matt has been advocating against added sugars and carbs for years), Kenny replied that it was because Matt has always been a thin person. Of course anything he said about nutrition was to be taken with a grain of salt because he didn’t have to overcome being overweight they way we did. When Kenny saw me lose all the weight without exercise and by eating normal foods, he was sold. My example led to his changing his lifestyle, and he has said as much on more than one occasion.

So that’s why I post those photos others would find embarrassing. Photos that more modest people could never fathom posting, I put up for display here. I do so because I want people to know that I have walked in their footsteps. I’ve been the heavy guy. The overweight guy. I’ve been the fat guy. It wasn’t easy or fun. But I found a way out of it, and I want to help others follow me to good health and if there’s a chance, even fitness.

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